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The Sound

80/35 Music Festival 2014 lineup uncovered


Sound left BY MARY MCCARTNEYThe Des Moines Music Coalition (DMMC) is notoriously tight-lipped regarding the lineup for each year’s 80/35 Music Festival. While the bands are booked months in advance, details are kept under lock and key until about a month before the festival, at which point the DMMC lets information out in a slow, controlled fashion… until this year.

In an unprecedented move, Cityview has exclusively obtained the complete lineup list for this year’s event, nearly two months before anyone at the DMMC wants the information to come to light. Why did we work so hard to find the information this year? Because we knew the announcement was going to be huge. After five years of mounting success, the DMMC has grown 80/35 into a festival with a national reputation, which was cemented last year when the Wu Tang Clan — one of the most influential hip-hop acts of all time — reached out to the DMMC specifically to play the festival. This year, the DMMC has expanded 80/35 from one-and-a-half days to a full Friday and Saturday. So it stands to reason that it would kick off the newly expanded festival with a bang.

Paul McCartney (left) and Pearl Jam are set to play this year’s 80/35 festival. PHOTO CREDIT: Mary McCartney

Paul McCartney (left) and Pearl Jam are set to play this year’s 80/35 festival. PHOTO CREDIT: Mary McCartney

In addition to the money that the DMMC raises over the course of the year for the festival, this year’s event has received an additional $5 million from the City of Des Moines’ own coffers.

“We believe that the festival has earned some extra support on behalf of the city,” said James Beard, spokesperson for Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie. “Tens of thousands of people flock to our downtown corridor every summer for the event, and we thought that should be reflected in the city’s commitment.”

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He said the city would recoup the money through a simple 1-percent bump in the sales tax. Festival organizers feel they’ve put every penny of the new money to good use.

“(DMMC President Mike Thibodeau) is going to completely deny every word of this,” said Kevin “Red” Harring, the DMMC board member who leaked the information, and supplied us with copies of the signed contracts as proof. We offered to protect Harring’s identity as an anonymous source, but he refused.

“I’m leaving town after this year anyway,” he explained. “I just wanted to spoil a big secret before I go. And this is easily the biggest secret we’ve ever had.”

Now, without further ado, the lineup: Day One headliner for 2014, all the way from Seattle, Wash., Pearl Jam. Other acts set to grace the 80/35 main stage on Friday, July 4 include: Imagine Dragons, The Melvins, Ani DiFranco, Tech N9ne, Cursive and Steven Malkums & The Jicks.

The 2014 80/35 Day Two headliner is Sir Paul McCartney. Other acts booked for Saturday, July 5 are: Muse, The Foo Fighters, Queen (featuring Adam Lambert), Green Day and Lorde.

“(Harring) is a delusional individual,” said 80/35 Project Manager Amedeo Rossi during an angry phone exchange. “None of those names are correct. In fact, none of them even ring a bell to me.

“I don’t listen to music.”

But Harring remains defiant.

“I wanted to see the money spent on expanding the festival’s local profile,” he said. “But it was made abundantly clear that the rest of the board wanted to make a splash. (Board member Chris Knauf) told me to ‘go soak my head.’ Nobody’s used that phrase since the 1950s. What does that even mean?”

What, indeed? But one thing we do know: This year’s lineup means serious business.

“I’m looking forward to playing in Des Moines,” said Pearl Jam front man Eddie Vedder. “I mean, who doesn’t love Idaho?” APRIL FOOLS!                

Chad Taylor is a lot of things — a music writer, critic and party boy — oh, and also completely full of shit at times.

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